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How to Plan a Trip to Koh Samui

By Chris QuanUpdated May. 11, 2021

Koh Samui now reopens. From April 1, 2022, all international travelers traveling to Thailand don't need to do nucleic acid test before departure as long as you're fully vaccinated.

Koh Samui, with its natural and casual atmosphere and tropical scenery with acres of coconut trees and crystal-blue waters, has won the hearts of hundreds of visitors. It is especially popular among couples for its romantic and quiet vibe.

In this article, we will give some suggestions on how to plan a trip to Koh Samui. Use this page to get inspired and prepare for your upcoming trip!

Koh Samui Koh Samui

How Long to Stay

It takes 3 to 7 days to explore Koh Samui depending on which attractions you would like to see and your preferred pace of travel. If this is your first trip to Thailand and Koh Samui is one of your stops, a 4-day visit is recommended.

  • Day 1: explore the beaches
  • Day 2: dive in Koh Tao
  • Day 3: visit Ang Thong Marine Park
  • Day 4: departure

If you're looking for a relaxing beach holiday and Koh Samui is your main destination, then you can explore the island over 6 or 7 days. Spend one or two days island hopping, explore Koh Samui's cultural landscape in a day, and spend at least one day relaxing and get some quiet time in your resort.

Read more on Ultimate Koh Samui Itineraries: from 3 Days to 7 Days

10-Day Island Hopping Tour around Eastern Thailand:

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The Top Things to Do in Koh Samui

beach in koh samui beach in koh samui

With an area of 225 sq km (85 sq miles), Koh Samui is the third-largest island in Thailand. Its exotic vibe and picturesque landscape offer all kinds of activities for visitors from all over the world.

Enjoy Relaxing on the Beach

The most popular beaches are Chaweng Beach, Lamai Beach, Maenam Beach, and Bophut Beach. If you prefer a quiet environment, you can choose the last three beaches. You can read more in our Beach Guide to Koh Samui.

Go to Koh Tao for Diving

Koh Tao is a small island about a 2-hour journey by ferry from Koh Samui. Rich in colorful coral reefs and various kinds of fish, Koh Tao is an excellent diving spot in Thailand.

Explore Ang Thong Marine Park

Ang Thong Marine Park consists of 42 islands in the Gulf of Thailand. There are numerous landforms to explore, including natural caves, serene beaches, and limestone hills. The best way to admire this spectacular archipelago is by sea kayaking across crystal-clear waters.

Escape to Koh Nangyuan

Koh Nangyuan is a private island with only one resort and one restaurant. Its peaceful environment makes it popular among honeymooners. At dusk, enjoy a gorgeous sunset coupled with a romantic dinner.

Enjoy a Refreshing Spa

Koh Samui has many world-class spa resorts. Indulge in spa treatments and wash away the fatigue of the day.

Take a Cruise Trip

Join a cruise to the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere around the Samui Archipelago. You will experience the serene natural beauty of its many islands and tropical waters.

Take Part in a Thai Cooking Class

Go to the local market and pick up Thai herbs, spices, vegetables, and other cooking ingredients, and learn local recipes from a professional chef to explore the flavors and techniques of Thai cuisine.

Revel at the Full Moon Party

As the name implies, the Full Moon Party is held on the night of the full moon every month on the island of Koh Phangan. Backpackers and electronic-music fans from all over the world gather to celebrate, covered in fluorescent paint and dancing under the moonlight.

The Best Time to Visit Koh Samui

December to February is the best season to visit Koh Samiu, as temperatures are cooler and there is less rainfall.

July to September is the rainy season in Phuket, while Koh Samui has better weather conditions in these months. So, this is a good time to travel to Koh Samui if you would like to avoid Phuket's monsoon.

The weather in the rainy season (October to December) is unpredictable. Heavy rains result in many water sports being cancelled during this time, but showers usually do not last long. However, many visitors take advantage of the quieter beaches and better deals during the off-season.

Learn more about Weather in Koh Samui.

10-Day Classic Thailand Tour:

How to Get There and Get Around

Getting to Koh Samui: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Krabi have direct flights to Koh Samui. Several cities in Asia such as Chongqing, Hong Kong, and Singapore also have direct flights. From Bangkok, it is a quick and easy 1-hour flight to Koh Samui.

Getting around Koh Samui: Speedboat or ferry is the best way to travel to the nearby islands. Songthaew is a common mode of transportation in Koh Samui — you can consider it if you are traveling short distances. Taxis are also available, but remember to negotiate a fare with your driver before getting in, because meters are not used in taxis on the island.

If you want to know more details about transportation on Koh Samui, please check How to Get in and around Koh Samui.

Where to Stay in Koh Samui

koh samui koh samui

There are many accommodation choices in Koh Samui, whether you prefer a hedonistic party atmosphere, peaceful isolation, plenty of activities, or a traditional feel.

Chaweng Beach, known for its lively nightlife, great shopping, and wonderful food is perfect for travelers who want a busy beach and nightlife.

Bophut Beach, which offers a modern beach, boutique shops, and chic and retro restaurants is ideal for young travelers and families.

Maenam Beach is suitable for honeymooners and travelers seeking romance.

If you want to enjoy a pool and an ocean view, you can choose a high-end hillside hotel at Chaweng or Lamai Beach.

Here are our recommended hotels on these beaches for your reference:

  • Chaweng Regent Beach Resort (Chaweng Beach)
  • Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui (Chaweng Beach)
  • Mantra Samui Resort (Bophut Beach)
  • Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort (Bophut Beach)
  • Belmond Napasai (Maenam Beach)
  • Sensimar Resort and Spa (Maenam Beach)

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Meals in Koh Samui

Koh Samui boasts a wide range of dishes from the local cuisine to multinational dishes.

Like in the other islands of Thailand, fresh seafood features heavily in dishes in Koh Samui. Cooked in the Thai style with special herbs and spices, they are very appetizing.

As the most popular beach in Koh Samui, Chaweng Beach hosts a number of restaurants from affordable stalls to luxury restaurants. It is a must-visit destination for foodies who love Thai food.

Koh Samui is Thailand's largest coconut producer, with about 2 million coconuts harvested a year. Both locals and travelers of all ages enjoy sipping the delicious coconut water and feasting on coconut meat.

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